President’s Silence on Zaria ‘Massacre’ is Shocking, Say Shi’ites

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The Islamic Movement (IMN), whose members are known as Shi’ites, has alleged that President Muhammadu Buhari has refused to pay attention to their plight.

The sect, which was involved in a clash with soldiers last December, said its effort to get justice in the current administration has not yielded result.

The president spoke on the clash during his first and only media chat, and he made it known that he would not interfere with the panel which the Kaduna State Government set up to probe the incident.

But the group would have none of that, saying after the alleged murder of many of its members, the military went ahead to abduct it leader, Ibraheem El-Zakzaky,” head of the sect.

IMN, according to The Cable, called for the release of its leader and all members of the sect who were arrested after the December incident.

“His (Buhari) speech to mark democracy day touched on virtually all the challenges his administration faced in its one year in office. He however refused to make mention of the monumental disaster that visited the nation on 12-12-15, when our  army massacred 1000 plus armless and defenseless citizens in Zaria,” a statement signed on behalf the group by Ibrahim Musa, its spokesman, stated.

“An event that the world was officially told involved a secret mass open shallow grave dug by the army in collaboration with Kaduna State Government containing 347 bodies, in an attempt to hide their heinous crime. How the president could still remain silent in spite of the mass outcry by respected individuals and groups over this gross miscarriage of justice still beats imagination.

“More so, in utter disregard to law and order, the Nigerian government abducted the revered leader of the movement, Zakzaky, after several shots were fired at him and his wife, killing three of his sons, setting ablaze some compounds in his house thereby burning some people alive including his sister.

“Since his abduction, the leader of IMN has been kept illegally in detention without trial or any court charge along with hundreds of other IMN members. It remains shocking and unbelievable how the president could still remain silent about this miscarriage of justice in Nigeria while democracy is said to be commemorated after one year in office disregarding outcries by governments, groups and individuals calling for fairness and justice.

“The offences committed by the army in Zaria were grave, relating to crimes against humanity as revealed by subsequent confessional statements and disclosures by reports of international human rights groups. There is simply no more room for excuses. The president can no longer feign ignorance. We therefore reject the continued silence of the president on the Zaria massacre,” IMN said.